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Khamis, 6 Februari 2014

Jakim’s baseless statement – Nehali

The report on Jakim on January 31, 2014 is deeply disturbing. It says“ Christians and Jews dividing the Muslims” in the country.
The statement is completely baseless.
First, Jews are not allowed to enter Malaysia.
All ties – be they cultural, sports, commerce or diplomacy – are severed between Malaysia and Israel. Since there is no contact or communication whatsoever between Jews and Muslims, I do not see how the Jews can divide Muslims in Malaysia.
Ironically, Jews should be credited with uniting Muslims since they are their common enemy.
No doubt Jews and Palestinian Muslims have been in conflict for decades.
However, there is no need to import the conflict into Malaysia.
As for the Christians, they constitute a mere 10% of the population while Muslims constitute about 60% of the population.
For years, Christians have been oppressed. They were not allowed to build churches even with their own money and on their own land.
When churches were built, Muslims created havoc and lodged complaints against these churches and forced the local authorities to act against the churches.
Importation of Christian literature is banned at the whim and fancy of government officials although the Federal Constitution assures Christians the freedom to practise their religion.
As mentioned above, Christians have had enough problems of their own and can hardly cope with the restrictions imposed on them by the authorities, let alone having the leisure to divide Muslims.
It is, therefore, obvious that there is little basis to claim that Christians and Jews divide Muslims.
‘Allah’ word
Perhaps, the “Allah” issue is presumably the cause of Jakim’s concern.
Indonesian Christians have been and are still using “Allah” to refer to God in their Alkitab (Bible in Bahasa Indonesia).
While in Malaya, one of the earliest translations of Matthew’s Gospel by A.C. Ruyl in 1629 had used the name “Allah” to refer to God. No concern was raised for centuries until recent years.
Before Islam came into being, the Arab Christians had been, and are, in fact, still using the word “Allah”, in their worship of God.
Yet the Indonesian Christians, the Malayan Christians and the Arab Christians are not accused of causing division to Muslims in those countries.
Why is it only in Malaysia that we have such a unique situation where the minority is being made the scapegoat for the disunity among Muslims in the country?
Is Muslim unity particularly fragile in Malaysia, compared with their Indonesian, Malayan and Arab counterparts?
Siege mentality
Politically, Muslims have all along been divided between Umno and PAS. A more recent third force called PKR is wooing Muslims as well.
None of these splits is caused by Christians nor Jews in the past, so why now are Christians and Jews being blamed for causing a division among Muslims?
Is it because of a siege mentality that Jakim is making such a baseless statement? Can 60% Muslim be under siege by 10% Christians?
Jakim must be suffering from a severe case of insecurity and paranoia for reasons best known to itself.
Or, perhaps, Jakim is playing the cheap tactic of making bogeymen out of Christians and Jews in order to scare the less-enlightened Muslims and, thereby, uniting them under its leadership?
By accusing Christians of dividing Muslims, Jakim is driving a wedge between Christians and Muslims, who are Malaysians.
What is the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) set up by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak doing about this?
Yet, it is reported that in the same breath that “Jakim reminded Muslims to stay away from racism and also to avoid fulfilling the agendas of certain parties which can affect race relations and threaten the country’s peace”.
Jakim’s doublespeak can no longer fool the Muslims nor Christians in this country.
Jakim’s real motive is to scare Muslims and antagonise Christians in order to divide and rule.
As Malaysians, irrespective of race, class or creed, we shall remain steadfastly united however divisive Jakim’s statement is. – February 4, 2014.
* Nehali is an engineer who writes with the conviction that the silent majority of moderates should speak up to prevent a beloved nation from being hijacked by the extremists.


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